November 15, 2010

Holier Than Thou: Peter David & J.K. Woodward talk Fallen Angel!

Fallen Angel: Return of the Son, the latest installment in the Fallen Angel mythos, is set to debut January 2011 through IDW Publishing (you can order it in this month’s Previews catalogue)! Series writer, Peter David, and artist, J.K. Woodward, took some time to talk with us here at on where the mini is headed, and what fans can expect from Liandra, the Fallen Angel.

COMIC ATTACK: Enoch, the Son of Cain is the main antagonist in this story arc. What can you tell us about him and why he is returning to Bete Noir?

PETER DAVID: Well, I could tell you, but since that’s the core question of the series, it’s a little tricky.  Suffice to say that it keys off Bete Noire’s karmic connection with the rest of the world…and exactly what plans Enoch might have for the entirety of humanity.

J.K. WOODWARD: Bete Noire, the fictitious city that provides the setting for Fallen Angel, was founded by Cain and his every descendant is “doomed” to rule over it as magistrate until the day they die. The original son of Cain coming back after all this time is really a big deal! It raises a lot of questions. What does he think of his fathers legacy? of Bete Noire? of the presence of an ex-angel(Liandra – the protagonist that gave the series its name) residing there? and what will he think of Jude? Jude is not only the son of the Fallen Angel, but also a direct descendant of Cain, himself. How will Enoch react to this? A fallen angel mixed into his bloodline? What’s in store for Jude and how will Liandra react? I’m, of course, not going to answer these questions for you (primarily because a lot the answers I don’t even know yet, myself). You’ll have to get the series.

CA: How does Liandra feel about his return?

PD: She is extremely suspicious and doesn’t quite know what to make of it.

JK: Well, I will say this: She’s not looking forward to meeting him. In fact in the first issue she seems a great deal more concerned than Jude. It’s either because Jude knows something she doesn’t or most likely, the other way around.

CA: What challenges will Liandra confront in this upcoming chapter or her life?

PD: She’s not really in a great place right now, having been pressed into service as magistrate in order to save her son from a terrible fate.  Except the son is not the least bit grateful, and even resents her for it, which naturally doesn’t sit well for her.  The arrival of Enoch makes her wonder whether he presents a good solution to her situation…or a remarkably bad one.

JK: The main challenge I see so far is her relationship with her son. She feels responsible for his life in almost every way and he doesn’t always seem to know or care what’s best for him. It seems a constant point of frustration for her.

CA: As mentioned, Jude, Liandra’s son, plays a prominent role in this mini-series. His character took some drastic turns when we last saw him, so what’s in store for Jude here?

PD: Well, he wants to get Bete Noire back, and he thinks that Enoch is going to be the key to that.  Except it may well be that Enoch simply wants to play the son against the mother for his own ends.

JK: Well, I kind of got into that with the first answer. It’s clear in the first script that Enoch is seeking Jude. Where it goes from there will be non-stop, adventurous comic goodness!

CA: Tell me my boy, Asia Minor, gets some face time in this one! Will any other supporting cast members be part of this story?

PD: Yes, Asia will definitely be around, as will Black Mariah and Ezil, and Dolf, of course.  Meanwhile Benny still has the weapon he got off Illyria which may, or may not, have a major impact on things.

CA: Would you advise new fans to jump on here with this mini, or to begin at the beginning with vol. 1?

PD: One of the points of minis is to provide constant jumping on points for the fans.  Is it possible to pick up the first issue of this series and come in cold?  Sure.  Personally, though, I would recommend picking up the omnibus editions, just because you get so much bang for your buck.

JK: Either. Peter usually crafts his story in such a way as to make it accessible to new readers, so you could easily jump on as a new reader and then, if you like it, go back and get the 2 omnibi that cover the 3 years of the series at IDW, as well as the last mini. Basically everything IDW has done with this title can be purchased in 2 books for around $20-$30 each. Actually IDW has just put out Fallen Angel Omnibus #0 that also reprints the 20 issue DC run that came before the IDW stuff too!

CA: The last time we saw Liandra, she allied herself with Illyria from the Angel series; will she or any other “Buffyverse” characters be making their way into the world of Fallen Angel?

PD: That was intended as a one-off, and since Dark Horse will be doing Angel as well now, it seems extremely unlikely.  Which is a shame; having Spike show up would have been a kick.

JK: As far as I know, not in this one. Though I wouldn’t say never. From what I understand, getting permission to use Whedon’s characters was a pretty simple process. Whedon has confidence in Peter’s ability to write his characters. Of course, I’m not sure IDW is going to have the Angel characters much longer.

CA: What do you both cherish most about the Fallen Angel universe, and what drives you to delve into this alternative religious world?

PD: I just adore the lead character.  I also like that she has a sizable female following.  She doesn’t have gargantuan breasts; her costume is very concealing; she smokes too much, drinks too much, curses too much, and has lousy taste in men.  For some reason, women readers find her easy to identify with.  Go figure.  As for why I would delve into an alternative religious world, it’s so that I can comment on THIS religious world in a sideways manner.

JK: I know a Peter David Question when I hear one, but from my point of view, it’s the city. Bete Noire is fun to draw and paint! It’s that simple. It’s also nice to work on great scripts. I’m really proud of being a part of Fallen Angel.

CA: Have you ever wondered where/how you would fit in in Bete Noir?

PD: I’d probably wind up eaten by Benny within five minutes of arrival.

JK: I would’ve been in the city about 5 minutes before Benny the Snake devoured me. (Editor’s Note: Peter and J.K. did not see the answers to each other’s questions, so it’s pretty hilarious that they both said the same thing here.)

CA: What is the general response from the Christian community about Fallen Angel?

PD: I haven’t had priests throwing rocks at me, if that’s what you’re asking.  Actually the most interesting response I’ve gotten was from a reform rabbi, who was fascinated by Liandra’s explanation back in issue five of why God allows bad things to happen in the world.  He said in all his years of study, he’d never heard that theory and was disturbed by just how much sense it made, considering how bleak it was.

JK: I haven’t heard one way or the other personally. Though, most of the mythology is old testament so I would think the Jewish community might have opinions as well.

CA: Will Liandra ever return to our time on Earth?

PD: The new series basically starts with her back in Bete Noire.  I didn’t really make any attempt to detail her journey back from where we left her in “Fallen Angel Reborn” because it wasn’t practical:  I only had Illyria for those four issues and there was no reasonable way to show her trip back without showing Illyria as well.  It’s kind of like the anecdote about the old “Jack Armstrong:  All American Boy” radio episode in which Jack was stuck in a pit of doom as a cliffhanger, and the writers realized they had no way to get him out of it.  So next week’s episode began with the announcer saying, “After Jack got out of the pit.” Same basic concept:  “After Liandra managed to get back to Bete Noire…”

JK: Well, at first, every time she left Bete Noire, she was subject to “real time.” This means, since she is mortal (after being cast out of God’s service) the years show on her face. At the end of some very exciting events in the series she spoke with God and there were some changes and she doesn’t have that physical change anymore. But still, time works differently in Bete Noire, so you never know exactly what could happen when she leaves or returns from Bete Noire. We’ll have to wait and see what Peter does in the future.

CA: Any closing words on this new mini-series or Fallen Angel in general?

PD: Buy two copies and give one to a friend.

JK: Just that there are some exciting incentives for retailers including: order 10 copies and you get  the B cover signed by myself and Peter; order 20 or more and  you get a signed sketch cover by me.

Remember to order Fallen Angel: Return of the Son #1 in this month’s Previews, and look for it on shelves this January! Click here to see a preview of issue #1, and here for all things IDW Publishing!

Andy Liegl



  1. Sooo…ummm…I should be reading this since Peter David is one of my favorite writers and JK is one talented artist. Plus I just keep hearing good things about the series so it looks like it’s time to make some more shelf space! 🙂

  2. you’ve just made my day!

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